Chat with Terry Blount
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, ESPN.com NASCAR writer Terry Blount will stop by to talk about all the latest news and notes from around the NASCAR track. In addition, he'll be chatting about his ranking of the top 10 drivers in all of auto racing. As a sneak peak, Blount's top five drivers are: 1. Jimmie Johnson; 2. Lewis Hamilton; 3. Tony Stewart; 4. Jenson Button; 5. Juan Pablo Montoya.
Blount covers motorsports for ESPN.com after 25 years as a sports reporter and columnist at three major metro newspapers.
Send your questions now and join Blount Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET!
Terry Blount (4:01 PM)
Big new day in NASCAR with Danica finally announcing her plans for 2010. The show has begun. And I see many already have commented on the top 10 list. Let it fly. What's on your mind?
Terry Blount (4:02 PM)
Quick answer for an earlier chatter. The 2010 Daytona 500 will start at 1 pm ET, as will most Eastern time zone events next season.
Is Jr cutting back on some of his "outside" interests? Knowing he gave particial ownership of JR motorsports to Kelly and Tony Jr and not being at the Danica press conf. today.
Terry Blount (4:03 PM)
Not really, but I think Junior delieberately wants to stay away from Danica mania as much as he can. Some of that will be unavoidable.
Terry,liked your article on Dodge CEO Ralph Gilles what are your thoughts on Dodge's Nascar future
Terry Blount (4:05 PM)
First, I was really imprssed with Gilles. I think he gets it and he's committed to making the most of the NASCAR involvement. As for the future, Gilles as to convince Fiat execs it's worth it. If anybody can do it, Gilles can.
buddy (lynchburg va)
watching the danica announcement, i got the vibe that she is a little, pushy, i guess would be the way to say it. she seemed like she is going to "wear the pants" in this deal. she just seemed really bossy. i dont see how that is going to work with jr and mr. h. your thoughts?
Terry Blount (4:06 PM)
DP is a litle pushy. She wouldn't have gotten where she is today if she wasn't. But she's not stupid. She knows who to listen to when she needs to listen.
Zombre (Out West)
Hi Terry. After reading your worlds top ten drivers article, I am curious if you considered the WRC's Sebastion Loeb? The guy has won the WRC an unprecedented six times in a row, and drives in all weather conditions on tarmac, gravel, and snow. I know the WRC is really under the radar in the US, but from the coverage I have seen his skills look to up there with the best.
Terry Blount (4:07 PM)
Loeb is an outstanding racer. No doubt about it. But you said it right, WRC really is on the radar screen in the US, so I wanted to keep the list to series that the vast majority of our readers know about.
Is the 1:00 start times green flag?
Terry Blount (4:08 PM)
You know how that goes Todd. Probably more like 1:10 before the race actually starts.
Elliot Sadler (North Carolina)
Any chance I regain some of the majic myself, Robert n Doug Yates have had in the past next year?
Terry Blount (4:09 PM)
Fake Elliott, some would say you never had any magov to get back.
Paul (San Diego)
Do you think Danica will pave the way for Honda'a entry into Nascar?
Terry Blount (4:11 PM)
That's an excellent question Paul, and it just might. The thing that would stop Honda is it can't get Danica. If she's good, a big if, no way Hendrick will let her get away for him and Chevy.
Terry Blount (ESPN)
" JIMMIE JOHNSON WILL WIN 5 CHAMPIONSHIPS IN A ROW"sound like something you say?
Terry Blount (4:12 PM)
Wow. I've never had myself faked on this before. I guess I've arrived. It's early yet, but I'm probably not going to say that.
Who retires first, Mark Martin or Jeff Gordon....I know Jeff has said he doesn't want to drive past 40.
Terry Blount (4:13 PM)
I like this question. I'm starting to think Mark will drive forever. But officially, Mark could retire after 2011. I think Jeff will go a year or two beyond that.
Carlos (San Antonio)
Do you expect the Juan Pablo-Stert feud to carry over into 2010?
Terry Blount (4:15 PM)
Definitely not. They both laughed it off last week at Vegas.
How do you think 2010 will go for Kahne same as 2009 couple wins make the chase or struggle?
Terry Blount (4:16 PM)
If the new Ford engine is as good a they thing it is, Kasey should have great year in 2010. The problem is he may be a lame duck. If he decides to leave RPM, it can affect the team and could hurt him.
JJ HILL JR (BAMA)
Terry, how bout the crimson tide, anyway lets say i wanted to sponsor a sprint cup car for 1 race, How much would my tab be?
Terry Blount (4:18 PM)
RTR. A one-off for primary sponsorship would run between $300,000 to $500,000 depending on how good the driver and team are you want to sponsor.
What demographics of new fans to you expect Danica to bring into Nascar? women, teens?
Terry Blount (4:20 PM)
Both, and little girls, as well. Kelley Earnhardt today talked about how her two daughters (9 and 4) are big Danica fans. But DP also brings in a lot of guys who find her quite attractive.
Hey Terry, Whats Andy Petree and the ESPN guys up in the booth do in the off-season?
Terry Blount (4:21 PM)
The same thing I do I imagine. Try to spend as much down time as possible with family and friends during the holidays.
Is kelly Earnhardt a Nascar team owner like Teresa Earnhardt is? Who calls the shots at Jr Motorsports?
Terry Blount (4:22 PM)
Keley is the co-owner. She and Jr. make decisions together, along with Rick Hendrick, who supplies parts for the JR Motorsports Nationwide team.
Tim (Kentucky )
Do you think Jeremy Mayfield will show up at Daytona and if not what will Jeremy do with the rest of his life?
Terry Blount (4:23 PM)
He can't show up and the speedway unless he wins his lawsuit, and that not's going to be decided until long after the 2010 Daytona 500, maybe not even the 2011 Daytona 500.
Mag Dawg (ya got a copy?)
thx for stoppin by Terry. Just wanted to say thx for chattin with us this season and i wanna say Happy Holidays.Cant wait to get right back at it in February how bout you?
Terry Blount (4:25 PM)
Thanks. I love my job, but at this time of year, I'm ready for a break and really enjoy Christmas time at home with my family.
Why did you rank Lewis Hamilton ahead of the F1 World Champion Jenson Button?
Terry Blount (4:25 PM)
Because I feel Lewis is a better driver, but Button had better equipment this year. As I wrote, LH was a +19 in positions gained this year, the best in F1.
Hey Terry, Have you as one of my Favorite sports writers. What is with the sponsor woes with JRM. If He cant find a sponsor deal, how is anybody else supposed to?
Terry Blount (4:27 PM)
Thanks for the kind words. Sponsorship is tough for everyone right now in this economy. It comes down to whether a team is willing to take less money that it took in the past or gamble that another sponsor will pay them whey they think the deal is worth.
Terry, What do you think of Dodge's nascar program going forward with just Penske Racing.
Terry Blount (4:29 PM)
It won't be easy, but the Dodge folks see some advantages to having all it's engineers and all it's assets focused on one 3-car operation. We'll see if that works.
No matter what anybody says won't Dale jr get bombarded with Danica questions as soon as he gets to Daytona? How can Danica not be a distraction for Dale?
Terry Blount (4:30 PM)
It will be to some extent. But maybe talking about something besides his on-track problems isn't such a bad thing.
If Robby Gordon doesn't get some sponsorship will Robby stop running after the first 6-8 races?
Terry Blount (4:31 PM)
Yes, unless he wants to go bankrupt. No one (well, maybe Bill Gates) can do this indefinitely without sponsorship. Not as a serious competitor. He always could go the start-and-park route, but I don't see Robby doing that.
do you thing junior is hooking up w/ danica or is it just business?
Terry Blount (4:33 PM)
It's just business Ricki. DP is happily married.
last chat with (terry blount)
terry, maybe 1 question please? What is Menards furture in Nascar? Do you think hes here on talent alone or is tony stewart right by saying his dad bought him his ride? dont be "blount" about it, thanks terry, see you in time for Daytona 500
Terry Blount (4:34 PM)
First, no on drives full-time at the Cup level strictly because daddy has money. Paul has some skills. He won a race in NW. But would he still be racing in Cup without the Menard's sponsorship. Proably not.
With Mr Gilles expressing the importance of nascar to Dodge could we see MOPAR come back as an associate on the Penske cars?
Terry Blount (4:35 PM)
Probably not. Dodge is pretty strapped for cash right now.
What are Kahnes possible options for 2011.
Terry Blount (4:38 PM)
Hard to say. Could be a third Stewart car. Could be a fourth Gibbs car. And he could replace somebody on another team. The point is Kasey will have a lot of options.
If Dale jr goes winless and misses the chase again in 2010 do you think that will be the end of Dale in Sprint Cup?
Terry Blount (4:39 PM)
No. He's a long way from the end.
Do you expect Ambrose to outrun Truex and Reuitimann at Waltrip in 2010?
Terry Blount (4:40 PM)
It wouldn't surprise me. But I think David is ready to make a move forward, and there's no doubt Truex will race better than Waltrip has the last couple of years.
Henrick cars won 18 points paying races this year or 50% of the races. What will Nascar be doing to bring more parity into Sprint Cup?
Terry Blount (4:42 PM)
Nothing. NASCAR might make a tweak or two to try to make the cars race better, but the teams are on the own to catch Hendrick.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
With Danica running a limited Nationwide Series schedule will we ever see Jennifer Jo Cobb & Chrissy Wallace in the Sprint Cup Series?
Terry Blount (4:44 PM)
It's all about whether they can find sponsorship. Chrissy probably has a better shot than Cobb because of the Wallace name, but both are a long way from racing in Cup.
Who was your favorite driver to cover over all of these years?Who had the best interviews?
Terry Blount (4:45 PM)
Dale Earnhardt Sr. The man was one of a kind. Sometims mad, sometimes your buddy, often manipulative, but always entertaining.
Forgive me if Im outta line, but all this Danica stuff is making me sick already, Is this gonna be the biggest storyline of the year cuz i sure hope not?
Terry Blount (4:46 PM)
Joe, get ready for a disappointment. Any race DP enters is going to be a big deal.
Joseph (San Dimas)
Now that Scotty Speed is over his rookie season do you expect Scotty to run consistently in the top 20 for Red Bull?
Terry Blount (4:47 PM)
No. He hasn't shown any indication he's ready to do that, but I hope I'm wrong.
Biffle and Kenseth are getting up there age wise. When do you think Jack Roush will be bringing in some younger drivers?
Terry Blount (4:48 PM)
He has some young drivers on the way up. The best one is Colin Braun. Very bright young man with decent talent. He'll make it to the Cup level.
Mag Dawg (ya got a copy?)
Lets talk old-school drivers, Tim Richmond, Bill Elliot, Darrel Waltrip, or the man in black, Who was the best driver of the 80s
Terry Blount (4:49 PM)
Earnhardt by far. But Tim was an exceptional talent. Just tragic what happened to him.
Terry, dying to know What you think the best race that you've ever witnessed was?
Terry Blount (4:51 PM)
Wow. My old brain can't remember them all now. You tend to only remember the finish as time goes by. The Darlington finish between Kurt Busch and Ricky Craven was a great moment. Sam Hornish's pass to beat Marco Andretti in the Indy 500 was breathtaking.
How is the relationship between Ford and Kahne?
Terry Blount (4:53 PM)
Not great, frankly. They didn't excatly part of good terms when Kasey when to Evernham and Dodge. But time heels all wounds. They'll let the past be the past and only look ahead.
Mickie (Arlington Texas)
Terry, of all the sponsors today uin Cup, which one forks out the most money?
Terry Blount (4:54 PM)
Amp Energy and the National Guard for Junior's car. Rumored at close to $30 million total.
Reggie (Ft. Wayne)
Do you expect Carl Edwards to be up their with Kyle and Denny as the drivers most likely to challenge Jimmie for the 2010 Sprint Cup?
Terry Blount (4:54 PM)
Yes, if the new Ford engine is the real deal.
Any chance they fight to keep him somehow in 2011.heard Ford is happy with getting him back
Terry Blount (4:55 PM)
The best chance to to have a car that competes for the title next year and wins races. If not, Kasey is gone.
Is Ganassi running a 2 car team for JP and Jamie?
Terry Blount (4:56 PM)
Yes. They want to run a third car, but don't have the sponsorship in place at the moment.
Hey Terry, Happy Holidays, asking you to be a fortune teller, Do any Nationwide regulars make a run at the championship over the cup guys, or is it gonna be 2 cup guys running away with the title
Terry Blount (4:57 PM)
If Carl doesn't win the 2010 NW title I'll be shocked.
Will Kyle have a new distraction with his Kyle Busch Motorsports truck team?
Terry Blount (4:59 PM)
I'm sure he'll have plenty of people running things with the new team. It's a good business decision. It's all the NW driving that I'll like to see Kyle cut back on. I'd rather see him just concentrate on his Cup ride.
How will Special K run in his first year in the 12 Dodge Charger?
Terry Blount (5:00 PM)
Probably top 20, but I don't see him contending for a Chase spot in his first year.
Terry Blount (5:00 PM)
Great questions today guys. Have a great week. I'm out. Peace.